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8/26/2017 ANSYS 1D Structural Truss Tutorial : Stepped Bar in Tension - Online Finite Element Analysis Consultancy Service

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Tutorial : Stepped Bar in Tension


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This tutorial is an educational tool designed to assist those who wish to learn
how to use the ANSYS finite element software package. It is not intended as a
guide for determining suitable modelling methods or strategies for any
application. The authors of this tutorial have used their best efforts in preparing
the tutorial. These efforts include the development, research and testing of the
theories and computational models shown in the tutorial. The authors make no
warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to any text or models
contained in this tutorial. The authors shall not be liable in any event for
incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the
furnishing, performance, or use of the text and models provided in this tutorial.
There is no gaurantee that there are no mistakes or errors in the information
provided and the authors assume no responsibility for the use of any of the
information contained in this tutorial.

Updates to Page:
Last edited on 10th October 2016 to account for changes in ANSYS release
17 [new method of applying cross sectional area to Link180]

Overview

In this tutorial you will examine the 1-D displacement of a stepped bar in
tension using ANSYS. The problem is adapted from example 1.1. on page 9
of the textbook Practical Stress Analysis with Finite Elements (2nd Ed) by
Bryan J. Mac Donald. You will determine the displacement distribution and
stress distribution in the bar due to the applied loading and boundary
conditions. A one-dimensional structural truss element (often also called a
"spar", "spring" or "link" element) will be used for this analysis. We will use SI
system units for this tutorial: length = m, mass = kg, time = sec, force = N,
stress/pressure = Pa. In this case the bar is made from steel and the applied
force is 10,000 N.

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Figure 1: An overview of the problem to be solved

It should be clear that the problem shown in figure 1 is a one-dimensional


problem as the loads and reaction forces will all act in the same direction. It is
convienient to divide the problem into three finite elements (E1, E2, E3)
corresponding the the three "steps" in the bar as shown in figure 2. Each
element has two end-points where it either joins another element or interacts
with the outside world (e.g. is constrained or experiences a load) and these
points are called nodes (N1, N2, N2, N4)

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Figure 2: Dividing the problem into three finite elements and four nodes.

We can easily calculate the cross sectional area of each element from the
information given in the example in the book "Practical Stress Analysis with
Finite Elements":

Element 1 = * (0.0005 + 0.000366666) = 0.0004333 m2


Element 2 = * (0.000366666 + 0.000233333) = 0.000299 m2
Element 3 = * (0.000233333 + 0.0001) = 0.000166 m2

The figure below shows the finalised model where the bar is modelled as a
series of three elastic springs (or trusses) with equivalent stiffness to the three
uniform cross section elements shown in the figure above.

Figure 3: The idealised finite element model of the tapered bar.

It can be clearly seen from figure 3 that the bar has been divided into three
truss elements (E1, E2 and E3). Each of these will have a length of 0.2m. The
points at each end of each element are called nodes. These are numbered 1
to 4 in figure 3 and the x coordinate of each node is: N1 x = 0, N2 x = 0.2m,
N3 x = 0.4m and N4, x = 0.6m

Step 1: Launch ANSYS

You may need to adapt these instructions depending on your operating


system and the options available to you. We will show how to launch ANSYS
on a machine running Windows 7.

1. Click on the windows icon in the left lower corner of your screen.

2. Click on All Programs to expand the programs list.

3. Find Ansys XX.X in the list of programs and click on it. Where XX.X is
the version number of ANSYS available to you. If you are running
ANSYS ver 14.0 then the XX.X will be 14.0, i.e. you should click on
Ansys 14.0

4. Click on the Mechanical APDL Product Launcher to launch the classic


ANSYS interface. Your screen should look like the figure below

5.

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6. When the product launcher displays your screen should look like this:

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7. It is very important that you specify the working directory and the job
name. We advise setting up a special directory for your ANSYS work
and always using this. Similarly you should give each ANSYS model a
different Job Name. If you forget to do this then ANSYS will
automatically give each analysis the name "file" and things will quickly
become confused. In this case, let's use the Job Name "Tutorial_01"

8. Depending on the type of ANSYS license you have, there may be


various options in the License drop down menu. Mulitphysics,
Mechanical, Structural or any of the Academic licenses are suitable for
this tutorial. Be aware that if you have another option selected in this
box then it may effect the options available in the main ANSYS GUI
when it launches.

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9. Click on "Run" in the product launcher window to start the main ANSYS
GUI. Once the main GUI launches you can close the product launcher
window.

10. Once the main GUI opens it is useful to set the preferences: in the
Main Menu select Preferences and make sure that Structural and h-
method are selected.

Step 2: Define Element Type

1. In the Main Menu select Preprocessor > Element Type >


Add/Edit/Delete

2. Click on Add in the dialog box that appears.

3.

4. Select Link in the left hand menu and 3Dfinit stn 180 in the right hand
menu and then click Ok

5. This will define element type 1 as a LINK 180 element. LINK 180 is
actually a 3D truss element but we are going to use it as a 1D truss by
later supressing some of it's degrees of freedom.

6. Click Close to close the Element Type dialog box.

Step 3: Define Element Cross Sectional Area (Section Properties)

1. In the Main Menu select Preprocessor > Sections > Link > Add

2. Enter the number "1" (for element number 1) in the dialog box that
appears and then click on OK to move on to the next step.

3. In the next dialog box that appears, enter the value for cross sectional
area for element 1: 0.000433m2 and then click OK

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4. Now, we have to repeat this process for elements 2 and 3.

5. Click on Preprocessor > Sections > Link > Add again and enter
"2" in the "Add Link Section" box that appears.

6. This time enter the value for the cross sectional area for element 2:
0.000299 m2 and then click Ok

7. Repeat this process for element 3 using the value given above
(0.000166m2)

8. . When you are finished you should have three section property sets
defined: you can check this by clicking on Utility menu > List >
Properties > Section Properties

Step 4: Define the Material Behaviour

1. In the Main Menu click on Preprocessor > Material Props > Material
Models, the Define Material Model Behaviour dialog box will now
appear.

2. Expand the options in the right hand pane of the dialog box: Structural
> Linear > Isotropic

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3. In the dialog box that pops up, enter suitable material parameters for
steel ( E = 210 x 109 Pa, Poissons ratio = 0.3):

4. Click on Ok to close the dialog box in which you entered the material
parameters.

5. Close the Define Material Model Behaviour dialog box by clicking on


the X in the upper right corner.

Step 5: Define Nodes and Elements

1. In the Main Menu click on Preprocessor > Modeling > Create >
Nodes > In Active CS

2. In the dialog box that appears: enter the x-coordinate for node 1 (i.e. 0)
and click on Apply (note that Apply issues the command to create the
node but keeps the dialog box open, clicking Ok would also issue the
command to create the node but would close the dialog box).

3. Now enter the x-coordinate for node 2 (i.e. 0.2) and click Apply

4. Enter the x-coordinate for node 3 (i.e. 0.4) and click Apply

5. Enter the x-coordinate for the final node, node 4 (i.e. 0.6) and click Ok
to dismiss the dialog box.

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6. You may have notice nodes appearing on the main window when you
clicked apply. You should now be able to see 4 nodes in the main
window (note that node 1 is at the origin so you may not be able to see
it due to the display of the triad at the origin, this is OK):

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7. We must now create the elements that join the nodes together: click on
Preprocessor > Modeling > Create > Elements > Auto Numbered >
Thru Nodes

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8. In the main window click on node 1 and then node 2. Then click Apply
in the dialog box. You should see a line element appear joining nodes 1
and 2.

9. Now click on node 2 and then node 3 and click Apply. A line element
should appear joining nodes 2 and 3.

10. Finally, click on node 3 and then node 4 and click Ok. A line element
should appear joining nodes 3 and 4.

11. Your display should now look like this:

12. All three elements were created with the default section number of 1.
This means that, at the moment, all elements currently have the same
cross sectional area. This cross sectional area should only be applied
to element 1, so we need to change the section properties associated
with elements 2 and 3. In order to do this we use the following
command: Preprocessor > Modeling > Move/ Modify > Elements >
Modify Attrib

13. Pick element number 2 and then click Ok in the dialog box.

14. In the dialog box that appears, change the Attribute to Change to
Section Num and the New Attribute Number to 2, then click on Ok.

15. Repeat this process (steps 12-14) for element 3 to change its real
constant to 3.

16. We can check that all is as it should be by going to the Utility Menu
(top of the window) and selecting: List > Elements > Nodes &
Attributes, you should get this:

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17. If your list looks different then it is likely you have made a mistake at
some point.

18. The key points are that each element has a different section number
(SEC) and that element 1 joins nodes 1 & 2, element 2 joins nodes 2&3
and element 3 joins nodes 3&4.

Step 6: Define Boundary Conditions

1. In this case we are using a 3D truss to model a 1D truss problem so we


must prevent the nodes from moving in either the Y or the Z directions.
In order to do this we constrain all nodes in the finite element model in
both the Y and Z directions.

2. Preprocessor > Loads > Define Loads > Apply > Structural >
Displacement > On Nodes

3. Select Pick All in the dialog box that appears.

4. Select both UY and UZ in the next dialog box that appears and enter a
value of 0 for displacement value

5. Click Ok to close the dialog box. Your screen should now look like this:

6. Now we can apply the problem boundary conditions.

7. The original bar is held rigidly at it's left hand edge. In order to model
this we will constrain the leftmost node (i.e. node 1) from moving in the
x-direction.

8. Again, select: Preprocessor > Loads > Define Loads > Apply >
Structural > Displacement > On Nodes

9. Click on Node 1 and then click Ok

10. This time select UX only and enter a value of 0 for displacement value

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11. Click Ok to close the dialog box. Your should have noticed an extra
constraint appear at node 1 (blue triangle pointing in the horizontal
direction)

Step 7: Define Loads

1. Select Preprocessor > Loads > Define Loads > Apply > Structural
> Force/ Moment > On Nodes

2. Pick node 4 and click on Ok

3. In the dialog box that appears make sure that the direction of force is
set to FX and that the Force/ Moment value is 100000

4. Click on Ok to close the dialog box.

5. You should see a red arrow appear on node 4 pointing to the right.

Step 8: Solve the Problem

1. In the Main Menu select Solution > Analysis Type > New Analysis

2. Make sure that Static is selected in the dialog box that pops up and
then click on Ok to dismiss the dialog.

3. Select Solution > Solve > Current LS to solve the problem

4. A new window and a dialog box will pop up. Take a quick look at the
infromation in the window ( /STATUS Command) before closing it.

5. Click on Ok in the dialog box to solve the problem.

6. Once the problem has been solved you will get a message to say that
the solution is done, close this window when you are ready.

Step 9: Examine the Results

1. In the Main Menu select General Postproc > List Results > Nodal
Solution > DOF solution > Displacement Vector Sum and click Ok

2. You should get a screen similar to this:

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3. As expected, displacement in the y-direction (UY) and displacement in


the z-direction (UZ) are zero for each node.

4. Node 1 has a zero displacement in all directions - this is as expected.

5. Node 2 has moved 0.2198 x 10-4m in the x-direction, Node 3 has


moved 0.5833 x 10-4m and Node 4 has moved 1.112 x 10-4m

6. The truss element that we have used is quite basic and it is difficult to
get stress results directly from it. In order to access stress results we
have to define an element table.

7. Select General Postproc > Element Table > Define Table > Add

8. Edit the options in the dialog box so that they look like this:

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9. It is very important to add the "1" after "LS, " !

10. Click on Ok to define the element table.

11. Click on Close to close the other dialog box.

12. Now select General Postproc > Element Table Data and pick
"AXIALSTR" in the list that appears. Once you click on OK you should
get a listing like this:

13. This listing gives the stress in each element, for example element 1
has an axial stress of 0.23079 x 108 Pa or 23.079 MPa

Step 10: Validate the Results


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We will now validate our obtained results against those given the book
"Practical Stress Analysis with Finite Elements": by Bryan J. Mac Donald. The
results comparison is summarised in the table below:

Result Quantity Ansys Result in book % Accuracy


Result

Displacement of Node 1 0 0 100%


Displacement of Node 2 0.2198 x 10-4 2.199 x 10-5m 99%
m
Displacement of Node 3 0.5383 x 10-4 5.374 x 10-5m 99%
m
Displacement of Node 4 0.1112 x 10-4 11.062 x 10-5m 99%
m
Stress in Element 1 0.23 x 108 Pa 23.07 x 106 Pa 99%
Stress in Element 2 0.33 x 108 Pa 33.32 x 106 Pa 99%
Stress in Element 3 0.60 x 108 Pa 59.72 x 106 Pa 99%

As the table above clearly shows, our finite element results are consistent with
those given in the book. The very small differences can be accounted for due
to computational round offs.

Summary

This tutorial has given you the following skills:

1. The ability to model 1-D problems in ANSYS.


2. The ability to adapt element types to specific situations by supressing
degrees of freedom (we used a 3D element as a 1D element).
3. The ability to generate finite element models using the direct method
(i.e. defining nodes and then defining elements linking those nodes, as
opposed to taking a solid model and dividing it up into elements which
we will do in subsequent tutorials).
4. The ability to define element types, real constants and material
parameters for a finite element model.
5. The ability to apply boundary conditions and loads to specific nodes in
a finite element model.
6. The ability to run a simple linear static analysis.
7. The ability to list displacement results for each node in the finite
element model.
8. The ability to create an element table to obtain additional results from a
finite element model and to list these results.
9. Experience in comparing the results obtained from your finite element
model with other results and validating your results against the other
results.

Log File / Input File

Click here for the log file

The log file for this tutorial may also be used as an input file to automatically
run the analysis in ANSYS. In order to use this file as an input file save it to
your working directory and then select Utility Menu > File > Read input
from... and select the file. You should notice ANSYS automatically building
the finite element model and issuing all the commands detailed above.

Quitting ANSYS

To quit ANSYS select Utility Menu > File > Exit.... In the dialog box that
appears click on Save Everything (assuming that you want to) and then click
on Ok

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